Saturday, November 05, 2005
Wall Street for Kids
theWife and I were talking as we were driving, and I was recounting some of the events of that morning. I had noticed theBoys, theElderSon and theMiddleChild, were watching TV before they had finished getting ready for school. That they were watching TV did not surprise me. That they were doing it before they were completely ready did not surprise me either. What did surprise me was what they were watching. I would have expected a hunting or fishing program to be on, but what I found them watching was neither. It was the local morning news show.
I was not only surprised, I was impressed. Here were theBoys catching up on local news and events. Sure they weren't ready yet, but hey, they were watching the news. theWife, however, was not surprised. She then explained to me what they were doing and the two words she spoke to me struck a recognition in my mind. A memory long forgotten, since the days when I myself would wake up and get ready for school. Two words that kids dream of in the early morning hours, before having to run off and catch their bus.
My first thought was why would they be watching the news for school closings now, it's not even close to being time to snow here yet (really, it's not...shutup). theWife then told me that just about every day, one or more schools were closed because of electrical problems or flooding and they would announce it on the news by way of ticker tape, the same way they do when schools are closed for snow.
Then I truly remembered. Like little Wall Street brokers, on a snowy day, millions of kids sit there in front of their TVs, eyes glued to the bottom of the screen, watching for their school name to appear in the ticker tape of schools who were closing that day. The suburb I grew up in started with a "W", so you can imagine how long I would have to wait to see if my school would be closed that day. The whole time talking to the TV, willing my school name to appear, emphatically telling the newscasters who ran the ticker tape that it would not be safe for busses to be out in this weather.
Then my school name would appear, and like millions of other kids, I would do a victory dance, head back to bed and mentally plan where I would go sledding that day before falling back to sleep. Not once did I ever give thought to the irony that was arguing that roads were unsafe one minute to planning my day's journey on the road the next.
Then theWife brought up a point that brought me back out of my nostalgia. She told me that theKids wouldn't need to do that anymore, they could just look it up on the internet. This thought never occured to me. I could not believe that I had not thought of the internet as their source for school closing information. They would be missing out on a time-tested ritual as old as TV news itself because of something I have always been a proponent of. Any question that they ever have asked that I have not known the answer to (yes, both of them) I have told them to look it up online. Now it appears that they could miss out on something special because of my constant advice. How sad.
We have decided however, to keep theKids in the dark just this once. We will not tell them about finding school closings online. Think of all the fun they would miss out on.
Hey, you...want to be happy? Start throwing things away. I'm going to start right this min...
These are the people in Arnold's neighborhood.
Ready for war? Let's see. Weapon...check. Side-arm...check. k-bar knife...check. Silly-string...check?